Thursday, January 03, 2013

Happy New Whinge

A few years ago, I wrote this letter to the SMH:
On New Year's Eve I watched the fireworks from a public vantage point. I saw backpackers sending text messages to their friends urging them to come to Sydney. That is, the few million dollars spent on the event will result in many millions worth of tourism.

Yet every year there are letters from people insisting we cancel the fireworks because of (take your pick) global warming, war, poverty, bushfires or the expense.

I saw young children amazed, I saw grown-ups holding hands and I saw thousands of Australians having a fantastic time. It really takes a special kind of killjoy to want to cancel that.

This year's winner:
I wonder if the asylum seekers on our offshore processing centres will be gathered around a TV (if there is one) to watch the fantastic fireworks display on Sydney Harbour on New Year's Eve (''Revellers set to get climate-friendly bang for their buck'', December 29-30)? I am sure they will be delighted to see thousands of Sydneysiders enjoying the display of $6.5 million going up in smoke - albeit beautifully coloured. But perhaps they may wonder if they have been mistaken in trying to gain admission into a country where such a blatant waste of money is accepted.
Wendy Hunter Rose Bay
Another reader picked up on my previous observation:
The New Year's Eve fireworks celebration wouldn't be the same without the annual carping letter about where the money could be better spent. I wonder if Wendy Hunter (Letters, December 31) forgoes all of life's pleasures, no matter how small, and donates the saved sums to good causes?
Gerard Kirwan Cremorne


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